Category Archives for "CRM 2011"

How to find what does not exist

Using a static Marketing List to identify records where a specific criteria does not exist

Today we have a guest post from fellow CRMUG D/FW member Torrey Landry.


All Sales managers want to know what population of their target audience has not purchased a certain product.

How do you build a view to tell you where “Product X” does not exist?

If you have a dedicated field for each product that can indicate a “yes” or “no”, then the search for product purchase is much simpler. You can use Advanced Find to query for:

  • Does Not Contain Data
  • 0 or 1
  • Yes or No

But what if you do not have a dedicated field?

Using the Marketing Lists entity, you will essentially create and compare two lists of data, leaving only the records you wish to target.

IMPORTANT: It must be a Static list, as opposed to a Dynamic list, in order to use the “add” and “remove” options under the “Manage Members” menu option.


Sample Scenario

You want to know which customers in Texas, in John Smith’s territory, do not have Product X.


The Process

  • Step 1: Create an Advanced Find that pulls in all records from John Smith’s territory that have an address in Texas. This is your ‘initial’ list.
  • Step 2: Create an Advanced Find that pulls in all records from John’s Smith’s territory that DO have Product X (within Texas or not, it does not matter). This is your ‘remove’ list.
  • Step 3: Remove all of those records from the ‘remove’ list from the ‘initial’ list.

The Result

All that remains are those records, in John’s area, in Texas, that do not have Product X.


The Details










Final Thoughts

  • This add & remove process is limited to only a few entities within CRM: Account, Contact and Leads.
  • The CRM Administrator can define the fields that will be displayed in the resulting marketing list, but (I believe) these fields will be the same fields displayed for all marketing lists created.
  • The columns may differ between Account, Contact and Leads

Renewing a Contract Error: The state of end date is not valid

One of my customers occasionally runs into the following error when attempting to renew a contract:


This is a very strange error given that the contract was created correctly and has been in place for long time.  Here is what causes this issue:

Here is an example of the Contract Start and End dates:


If you have never worked with Contracts, you will find that you need to have at least one Contract Line, which is a detail-level record (with the Contract itself being the master record).

Here are the Contract Start and End dates for the Contact Line:


Do you notice that the End Date of the Contract Line is not the same as the Contract End Date?

It turns out that Dynamics CRM doesn’t like the dates not being the same and the result is that error message above.


Root Cause of the Issue

This issue was caused by a piece of automation (plug-in) that was created and installed into the system. I incorrectly specified the Contract Line End Date field value and upon renewal, the error was generated.



To correct such an issue, perform the following steps:

1. Open the Contract.

2. View the Contract Lines.

3. Open the Contract Line with the incorrect dates.

4. Cancel the Contract Line.

5. Create a new Contract Line with the same values as the original one, but with Start and End Dates that match the Contract.

6. Return back to the parent Contract.

7. Click the Renew Contract button on the Ribbon.

8. When prompted for Include canceled contract lines?, uncheck the checkbox.

9. Click OK.

At this point your contract should be renewed with the next period’s dates.

Working with Queues

I was working on some queues at a customer last week when I discovered a design issue that I needed to correct.

During this process, I decided to write a quick article on the subject and in doing a bit of research, I found my friends at xRM Cubed had already done the hard work for me.

Here’s an great overview of working with Dynamics CRM queues:

xRM3, Inc.

Admin 101: Queues and Queue Management – Part 1

Admin 101: Queues and Queue Management – Part 2

Admin 101: Queues and Queue Management – Part 3


Assigning an Item to a Queue

One of the things you’ll notice as an Dynamics CRM administrator is the number of queues that are created automatically by CRM. Most of these queues are for users and can be identified by their name.

If you look at the following queue list, you’ll notice the queues with names that contain < and > symbols:


These are queues that are created and maintained by Dynamics CRM itself and represent users and teams.

The problem is that these are valid queues and they have a tendency to "crowd" the queue list.

For example:  You have a Queue Item open, and would like to add it to a queue, using the ribbon button:


This displays the queue selection dialog:


Clicking the lookup button displays the queue selection dialog:


As you can see, there are a lot of queues listed – most of which we really don’t care about at this point.

Let’s change that lookup to make it more usable.


Modifying the Queue Lookup View

To modify the Queue lookup, perform these steps:

1. Select Settings, Customization, Customize the System.

2. Expand Entities.

3. Expand Queues.

4. Expand Views.

5. Open the Queue Lookup View.

6. Click on the Edit Filter Criteria button.

7. Set the filter criteria as follows:


This will instruct CRM to ignore any user or team queue as well as queues that may exist from an upgraded CRM organization (4.0 or 3.0).

8. Click the Save and Close button on the toolbar.

9. Publish your changes.

Now when you open the Queue Lookup dialog, you’ll see something like this:


1 Tip o’ the Day: Working with Queues

At times, it can be difficult to manage queues, if you have a large number of users because the normal production queues get lost in the list of users ( who also have queues ). Here’s how to work around that problem.

1. Select Settings, Customization.

2. Expand Entities.

3. Expand Queues.

4. Click on Views.

5. Open the All Queues view.  It will probably look something like this:


6. Click the Save As button on the toolbar.

7. Give the new view a name like, All Production Queues:


8. Click the Edit Filter Criteria button on the Common Tasks task pane.

9. Add the following  filter criteria:


All users queues begin with a greater-than symbol ("<"). Normal queues do not. We are instructing CRM to show me only non-user queues.

10. Click OK.

11. Click the Save and Close button on the toolbar.

12. Publish your customizations.


Now you have the ability to filter the list of queues to remove user queues:


1 Adding People to Marketing Lists

I was verifying some data in one of my CRM Online instances when I noticed something about Marketing Lists that had never caught my eye.

The process of adding a person (Contact, Lead, Account) to a Marketing List can vary depending on how you do it.

Here are the two methods that are available:

Method 1:

Clicking the Add to Marketing List button on the Ribbon:


Displays the following dialog:



Method 2:

The second method is when you select Marketing Lists from the Marketing area in the left-hand navigation section:


Clicking this link changes the context of the Ribbon to that of the Marketing List, which appears like this:


Clicking the Add Existing Marketing List from this Ribbon will produce this dialog:


As you can see, this is a different dialog than noted previously and it happens to be a multi-select dialog box.

This means you can add multiple Marketing Lists to a person with a single action.

This should greatly improve your productivity when working with a single record.

Unfortunately, when working with multiple records, you only get the "add to single Marketing List" choice.

Defaulting Advanced Find to always show details

I was teaching a webinar on Thursday and I told the students about a personal options setting that will save you a click every time you open the Advanced Find dialog.

By default, the Details of the query are hidden, as you can see here:


To actually edit the query, you must click details button on the Ribbon:


Which will result in the query being editable, as you can see below:


To turn this option on permanently, select File, Options to display the personal options dialog.

Change the Advanced Find Mode from Simple to Detailed as shown below:


Click OK when you’re done.

From now on, the Advanced Find will default to showing details so you can immediately begin to alter the query.

Issues Exporting View Data to Microsoft Excel

Occasionally I see issues when I am trying to export data from a Dynamics CRM 2011 view to Microsoft Excel.

The error messages may vary, but they may describe not being able to start a process or something.


The Cause

Most of these issues seem to be related to the startup time of Excel, when Excel is not running.  The problem does not seem to surface when Excel is already running.

There is some type of timeout involved, like maybe around 10-20 seconds, that Internet Explorer will allow before canceling the operation.

If Excel and the worksheet haven’t completed loading during that time frame, IE will cancel the opening of the worksheet, though Excel will complete it’s startup process.

Attempting the operation again, will usually result in the successful loading of the worksheet.

The startup time for the Excel will depend on menu factors, including the number of add-ins that Excel must load during the startup process. The more add-ins you have, the longer Excel’s load time.


The Solution

There are a couple of solutions to this issue:

1. Start Microsoft Excel before attempting to load the worksheet.

2. When prompted by Excel, select Save, then open the worksheet from Excel manually.

Manually hiding the CRM 2011 Ribbon

Some may call me Captain Obvious, but sometimes it is the obvious that passes us by.

As is today’s Dynamics CRM 2011 topic: Did you know you can hide the ribbon on the main Application or an Entity Form?  Well you can.

In the upper-right corner of the window, beside the Organization Name, is a small arrow:



Clicking that arrow will show or hide the ribbon, leaving only the tab names showing.

This is not a permanent change, just for the current session or form.

Not a huge deal, but handy if you’re trying to recover some screen real estate.

3 Dynamics CRM 2011 Quick-Tip: Double-clicking e-mail addresses

I didn’t actually realize it until this week, but if you double-click on an email address field within Dynamics CRM 2011, it will actually open the default email application ( such as Microsoft Outlook ), and create a new e-mail message.

So double-clicking this email address:


Results in a standard Outlook e-mail message being opened:



I verified that this was not how CRM 4.0 worked.

Anyway, it’s a really cool feature and can be a real time-saver.

1 Users with no assigned security roles

If you open Dynamics CRM 2011 as an administrator you may one day find the following notification:


As the message states, There are users within the system who do not have any security roles assigned.

A user without a security role is the same as no user at all, so CRM wants you to correct the issue.

Theoretically, you can do so by clicking the Assign Roles button located in the notification area.  This action will navigate to the User’s area within Settings and display a special view called: Users with no security roles.


But what if the user list is blank?

Interestingly enough, on my test system where I received this message, I found the view to be empty, which I thought rather odd.

Manually navigating to: Settings, Administration, Users, then selecting the Users with no security roles view, listed the users without security roles.


How can this happen?

Well, there are actually several possibilities:

  • The user was added manually ( not through the Add Users wizard ) and roles were not assigned.
  • The user was moved from one business unit to another and the security roles were removed because they did not exist in the destination business unit.



This is a very handy notification that will hopefully prevent users from having connectivity issues when accessing Dynamics CRM 2011.

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